Tag Archives: Athens

Snipers were killing the Greek rebelions from the terraces on 17/11/1973

Olympia.gr

Στην εποχή του διαδικτύου και όχι των εκδοτών – συνεργατών της χούντας και μετά της δημοκρατίας, καμμία αλήθεια δεν μπορεί να κρυφτεί. Η συγκλονιστική μαρτυρία του γιατρού για τη νύχτα εκείνη, τα λέει όλα.

Κάπως έτσι, μετά από χρόνια, θα ανοίξουν τα στόματα και για τον Δεκέμβρη του 2008, που έφερε τη νέα χούντα, το νέο ξεπούλημα της πατρίδας από τον άλλο “Γιώργο”. Τον νεώτερο.
“Μαρτυρία: «Από σφαίρες ελεύθερων σκοπευτών τα θύματα του Πολυτεχνείου»”Μιλώντας στο Pheme.gr ο κ. Χαρώνης προβαίνει σε μια μεγάλη αποκάλυψη. Όπως αναφέρει στα γεγονότα του Πολυτεχνείου, το ’73, έδρασαν ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές, οι οποίοι χτυπούσαν από ψηλά στο ψαχνό.

«Τα πρώτα θύματα και οι πιο βαριά τραυματίες είχαν βληθεί από ψηλά. Πιθανώς από μπαλκόνια και ταράτσες παρακείμενων πολυκατοικιών», επισημαίνει ο κ. Χαρώνης.
Στο συμπέρασμα αυτό έχει καταλήξει ο γιατρός, έπειτα από «πλήρη μελέτη τροχιάς», όπως
αναφέρει, την οποία διενήργησε.
Σύμφωνα με τα συμπεράσματα των ερευνών που πραγματοποίησε, «οι πρώτοι και βαριά τραυματίες είχαν βληθεί από πάνω προς τα κάτω».
Σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις, μάλιστα, οι ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές χτύπησαν πισώπλατα, όπως αναφέρει. «Είδα θύματα που εβλήθησαν στην πλάτη, πλάτη προς καρδιά και σπονδυλική στήλη».
Ο τότε Διευθυντής της Γ’ Χειρουργικής Κλινικής του Γενικού Κρατικού Νοσοκομείου, ο οποίος βρέθηκε για 36 συνεχείς ώρες στο χειρουργικό τραπέζι, είναι πεπεισμένος ότι «οι ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές ήθελαν να αιματοκυλίσουν την Αθήνα».
Όπως αναφέρει ο κ. Χαρώνης «σημάδευαν για σκοτωμό, και το ερώτημα μου, βεβαίως είναι ένα: Είναι δυνατόν αυτοί οι άνθρωποι να ήταν Έλληνες; Εύχομαι και ελπίζω να μην ήταν Έλληνες, αλλά πράκτορες ξένης δύναμης που ήθελε να αιματοκυλίσει την Αθήνα, να την μετατρέψει σε σφαγείο για να δικαιολογήσει την μετέπειτα δράση του Ιωαννίδη».
Παρ’ ότι έχουν περάσει 39 χρόνια από τα αιματηρά γεγονότα του Πολυτεχνείου, ο κ. Χαρώνης θυμάται με λεπτομέρειες τα θλιβερά γεγονότα που διαδραματίστηκαν στο χώρο του νοσοκομείου, όπου της άφιξης εκατοντάδων τραυματιών ακολούθησε η βίαιη επέμβαση αστυνομικών, στρατιωτικών των ΕΑΤ-ΕΣΑ, και πρακτόρων της χούντας στο χώρο του νοσοκομείου.
«Γινόταν το σώσε. Για να προφυλάξουμε τους τραυματίες, τους αλλάζαμε τα ονόματα για να μην μπορούν να τους βρουν», σημειώνει ο κ. Χαρώνης. «Βεβαίως η ενέργεια μας αυτή αργότερα τους δημιούργησε μεγάλο πρόβλημα, γιατί ενώ ήθελαν να καταθέσουν τα χαρτιά τους για τη χορήγηση μιας συνταξούλας, δεν μπορούσαν να βρουν τα ονόματά τους»!
Θέτουμε υπόψιν του κ. Χαρώνη, την αμφισβήτηση των νεκρών του Πολυτεχνείου από την πλευρά της Χρυσής Αυγής.
Δείχνει να απορεί και να θυμώνει. «Είναι δυνατόν; Είναι δυνατόν;», επαναλαμβάνει με απορία. «Ας έρθουν σε μένα να τους εξηγήσω, να τους πω για τα δυο παιδιά που ξεψύχησαν στα χέρια μου, τα οποία δεν θα ξεχάσω ποτέ. Ο ένας, νεαρός, είχε δεχθεί σφαίρα στην κάτω κοίλη φλέβα και ο άλλος είχε βληθεί στο κρανίο»!

[…] είπε


ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΟ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΤΑ ΠΑΡΑΚΑΤΩ….

“Μαρτυρία: «Από σφαίρες ελεύθερων σκοπευτών τα θύματα του Πολυτεχνείου»”Μιλώντας στο Pheme.gr ο κ. Χαρώνης προβαίνει σε μια μεγάλη αποκάλυψη. Όπως αναφέρει στα γεγονότα του Πολυτεχνείου, το ’73, έδρασαν ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές, οι οποίοι χτυπούσαν από ψηλά στο ψαχνό.

«Τα πρώτα θύματα και οι πιο βαριά τραυματίες είχαν βληθεί από ψηλά. Πιθανώς από μπαλκόνια και ταράτσες παρακείμενων πολυκατοικιών», επισημαίνει ο κ. Χαρώνης.
Στο συμπέρασμα αυτό έχει καταλήξει ο γιατρός, έπειτα από «πλήρη μελέτη τροχιάς», όπως
αναφέρει, την οποία διενήργησε.
Σύμφωνα με τα συμπεράσματα των ερευνών που πραγματοποίησε, «οι πρώτοι και βαριά τραυματίες είχαν βληθεί από πάνω προς τα κάτω».
Σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις, μάλιστα, οι ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές χτύπησαν πισώπλατα, όπως αναφέρει. «Είδα θύματα που εβλήθησαν στην πλάτη, πλάτη προς καρδιά και σπονδυλική στήλη».
Ο τότε Διευθυντής της Γ’ Χειρουργικής Κλινικής του Γενικού Κρατικού Νοσοκομείου, ο οποίος βρέθηκε για 36 συνεχείς ώρες στο χειρουργικό τραπέζι, είναι πεπεισμένος ότι «οι ελεύθεροι σκοπευτές ήθελαν να αιματοκυλίσουν την Αθήνα».
Όπως αναφέρει ο κ. Χαρώνης «σημάδευαν για σκοτωμό, και το ερώτημα μου, βεβαίως είναι ένα: Είναι δυνατόν αυτοί οι άνθρωποι να ήταν Έλληνες; Εύχομαι και ελπίζω να μην ήταν Έλληνες, αλλά πράκτορες ξένης δύναμης που ήθελε να αιματοκυλίσει την Αθήνα, να την μετατρέψει σε σφαγείο για να δικαιολογήσει την μετέπειτα δράση του Ιωαννίδη».
Παρ’ ότι έχουν περάσει 39 χρόνια από τα αιματηρά γεγονότα του Πολυτεχνείου, ο κ. Χαρώνης θυμάται με λεπτομέρειες τα θλιβερά γεγονότα που διαδραματίστηκαν στο χώρο του νοσοκομείου, όπου της άφιξης εκατοντάδων τραυματιών ακολούθησε η βίαιη επέμβαση αστυνομικών, στρατιωτικών των ΕΑΤ-ΕΣΑ, και πρακτόρων της χούντας στο χώρο του νοσοκομείου.
«Γινόταν το σώσε. Για να προφυλάξουμε τους τραυματίες, τους αλλάζαμε τα ονόματα για να μην μπορούν να τους βρουν», σημειώνει ο κ. Χαρώνης. «Βεβαίως η ενέργεια μας αυτή αργότερα τους δημιούργησε μεγάλο πρόβλημα, γιατί ενώ ήθελαν να καταθέσουν τα χαρτιά τους για τη χορήγηση μιας συνταξούλας, δεν μπορούσαν να βρουν τα ονόματά τους»!
Θέτουμε υπόψιν του κ. Χαρώνη, την αμφισβήτηση των νεκρών του Πολυτεχνείου από την πλευρά της Χρυσής Αυγής.
Δείχνει να απορεί και να θυμώνει. «Είναι δυνατόν; Είναι δυνατόν;», επαναλαμβάνει με απορία. «Ας έρθουν σε μένα να τους εξηγήσω, να τους πω για τα δυο παιδιά που ξεψύχησαν στα χέρια μου, τα οποία δεν θα ξεχάσω ποτέ. Ο ένας, νεαρός, είχε δεχθεί σφαίρα στην κάτω κοίλη φλέβα και ο άλλος είχε βληθεί στο κρανίο»!

ΑΥΤΟ ΕΧΕΙ ΣΗΜΑΣΙΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ…
“Είναι δυνατόν αυτοί οι άνθρωποι να ήταν Έλληνες; Εύχομαι και ελπίζω να μην ήταν Έλληνες, αλλά πράκτορες ξένης δύναμης που ήθελε να αιματοκυλίσει την Αθήνα, να την μετατρέψει σε σφαγείο για να δικαιολογήσει την μετέπειτα δράση του Ιωαννίδη».”

 


November 17 2012,Suicidal Greece in Pictures

An employee at the state-run Workers’ Housing Organization (OEK) crouches on a ledge while threatening to jump as a colleague speaks to her, in central Athens, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. The woman was fired as the agency was due to be shut as part of sweeping new austerity measures demanded by Greece’s EU-IMF rescue creditors. After hours of negotiations, the woman was brought to safety as she came in from the balcony. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Looking for a Police State to blow your Whistle? Here you are! The ex- cradle of democracy the current cradle of Tyranny #tapwire  is nothing comparing to what Greek State has become. THIS IS NOT A STATE OF THE PEOPLE BUT OF THE EXTREMES,THE FASCISTS AND THE POLICE INTIMIDATING CIVILIANS

Λέγομαι Αντώνιος Περρής. Εδώ και 20 χρόνια φροντίζω την 90 χρονών Μητἐρα μου(την γεροντοκομώ). Τώρα τα 3- 4 χρόνια έχει πάθει Αλτζχάϊμερ και τελευταία την πιάνουν και κρίσεις σχιζοφρένειας και έχει κι᾽ άλλα προβλήματα υγείας, Και τα γηροκομεία δεν δέχονται τὀσο επιβαρυμένους ασθενείς.
Το πρὀβλημα είναι ότι δεν είχα προβλέψει να έχω αρκετό ρευστό στο λογαριασμό μου, διότι έπιασε ξαφνικά η οικονομική κρίση. Παρόλο που έχω αρκετή περιουσία, και τα πουλώ όλα όσο όσο τόσο καιρό, έχω μείνει χωρίς ρευστό(χρήματα) και δέν έχουμε πια να φάμε, κι´η πιστωτική μου κάρτα με 22% επιτόκιο γεμάτη κι´ας δανείζονται με 1%, κι´άλλα έξοδα που τρέχουν. Ζω πια συνέχεια μιά ζωή δράμα.

2) Τώρα τελευταία δυστυχώς έχω νέα σοβαρότατα δικά μου προβλήματα υγείας.

Δεν έχω καμμία λύση μπρος μου. Περιουσία αρκετή αλλά ρευστό καθόλου, οπότε χωρίς φαγητό τι γίνεται ? Μήπως ξέρει κανείς καμμία λύση.

Ισχυροί της γης γιά την οικονομική κρίση που δημιουργήσατε θέλετε κρέμασμα
και σας είναι λίγο.

Μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

1) Τον κόσμο αυτό αν θες να φτιάξεις
πρέπει ν΄αλλάξεις τη δομή,
πρωτού λόγω της απραξίας μας
μας αφανίσει η παρακμή,
μας κυβερνούν οι λωποδύτες,
οι τραπεζίτες κι´ οι αγιογδύτες
κι´ όλοι τους οι υποτακτικοί.

R. Δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
κτύπα τους πριν αφανιστείς,
γιατί αλλιώς μεσ´ στη μιζέρια
και μεσ´ στο άδικο θα ζεις,
δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

2) Λέει η εντολή ου αυτοκτονήσεις,
μα κατ´ ανάγκη αυτοκτονείς,
χτύπα τους πριν σε αφανίσουν,
εγκληματείς που αδρανείς,
της ηθικής μας απραξίας
όπως και της νωθρότητάς μας
πια ας μην είμαστ´ ασθενείς.

MNA–Unprecedented, for Greece, percentages of depression and suicidal tendencies have been recorded in the Greece society, as well as anxiety and despair, in the past two years due to the economic recession, unemployment and the sense of insecurity, psychiatrists told a press conference on Thursday evening ahead of the 38th annual Panhellenic Medical Congress to be held in Athens next week.

Suicides climbed by 22 percent in the two-year period 2009-2011, while the number of people seeking help in support services have jumped by 20-30 percent.amna

According to Professor Eleftherios Lykouras, director of the Psychiatric Clinic of Attikon Hospital, children, even pre-schoolers, have been affected by the heavy climate, with the number of children requiring psychiatric care increasing by 10-15 percent in the two-year period. He said that most of the children are taken to hospital pediatric departments with intense headaches and stomach pains and pains in their extremities, with the diagnosis resulting from test results indicating a psychological, stress-related factor.amna

He said the reduction in incomes, unemployment and financial difficulties are risk factors for the occurrence of depression symptoms, while the debt is proving to be a critical factor in the link between financial difficulty and depression.amna

Further, fear, insecurity and uncertainty for the future are psychological effects connected with the economic parameters and can also lead to depression.

(Reuters) – On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation – and its media – before a May 6 election.

The especially grisly death of pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas, who shot himself in the head on a central Athens square because of poverty brought on by the crisis that has put millions out of work, was by far the most dramatic.

Before shooting himself during morning rush hour on April 4 on Syntagma Square across from the Greek parliament building, the 77-year-old pensioner took a moment to jot down a note.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance,” wrote Christoulas, who has since become a national symbol of the austerity-induced pain that is squeezing millions.

Greek media have since reported similar suicides almost daily, worsening a sense of gloom going into next week’s election, called after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s interim government completed its mandate to secure a new rescue deal from foreign creditors by cutting spending further.

Some medical experts say this form of political suicide is a reflection of the growing despair and sense of helplessness many feel. But others warn the media may be amplifying the crisis mood with its coverage and numbers may only be up slightly.

“The crisis has triggered a growing sense of guilt, a loss of self-esteem and humiliation for many Greeks,” Nikos Sideris, a leading psychoanalyst and author in Athens, told Reuters.

“Greek people don’t want to be a burden to anyone and there’s this growing sense of helplessness. Some develop an attitude of self-hatred and that leads to self-destruction. That’s what’s behind the increase in suicide and attempted suicide. We’re seeing a whole new category: political suicides.”

Police said the geology lecturer, Nikos Polyvos, who hanged himself, was distraught because a teaching job offer had been blocked due to a blanket hiring freeze in the public sector.

A blind protester shouts against anti-austerity measures during a protest near the Prime Ministers office in Athens, on February 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

NATION IN SHOCk

Experts say the numbers are relatively low – less than about 600 per year. But increases in suicides, attempted suicides, the use of anti-depressant medication and the need for psychiatric care are causing alarm in a nation unaccustomed to the problems.

Before the financial crisis began wreaking havoc in 2009, Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world – 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. There was a 40 percent rise in suicides in the first half of 2010, according to the Health Ministry.

There are no reliable statistics on 2011 but experts say Greece’s suicide rate has probably doubled to about 5 per 100,000. That is still far below levels of 34 per 100,000 seen in Finland or 9 per 100,000 in Germany. Attempted suicides and demand for psychiatric help has risen as Greece struggles to cope with the worst economic crisis since World War Two.

Nikiforos Angelopoulos, a professor of psychiatry, has a busy psychotherapy practice in an upmarket Athens neighbourhood. He said the crisis has exacerbated the problems for some already less stable people and estimates that about five percent of his patients have developed problems due to the crisis.

“We’re a nation in shock,” he said, even though he suspected that it was the media coverage of suicides that had increased dramatically rather than the actual numbers of suicides. He nevertheless says the crisis is behind a notable rise in mental health problems in Greece.

“I had one patient who came in with a severe depression – he owns a furniture making company that got into financial trouble and he had to lay off 20 of his 100 workers,” he said. “He couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat because of that. He said his good business was being ruined and he couldn’t cope anymore.”

The furniture maker spent four months in therapy and was also helped by anti-depressants, Angelopoulos said.

“He’s better now. He realised what happened just happened. But there are many others who are unstable or psychotic to begin with and the crisis is increasing their anxiety and insecurity.”

Angelopoulos, 60, has also suffered himself because about 20 percent of his patients can no longer afford his 100 euro ($130) per hour sessions. Some have asked for a half-price discount while others tell him they simply can’t afford to pay anything.

“I never turn people away,” he said. “If a patient says to me ‘I have no money’, I couldn’t tell them to go away. I tell them okay you don’t have to pay now but remember me later.”

HAPPY GREEKS?

There are several possible explanations for Greece’s low suicide rate that go beyond the fact that the country has an abundance of sunshine and balmy weather.

To avoid stigmatising their families, some suicidal Greeks deliberately crash their cars, which police often charitably report as accidents. Families often try to cover up a suicide so their loved ones can’t be buried because the Greek Orthodox church refuses to officiate at burials of people who commit suicide.[…….]

Another important factor behind the low suicide rate is that Greeks have extremely close knit families as well as a highly communicative and expressive culture.

“Greece is a country where everyone will talk to you,” said Sideris, the Athens psychoanalyst. “You’ll always find someone to share your suffering with and someone’s always there to help.

“It’s not only the good weather. It’s the powerful network of support that has made the suicide rate in Greece so low. It’s still there but this crisis is still too much for some people.”


Greeks protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza

 

A peaceful demonstration outside Israeli Embassy, took place this afternoon in Athens. Members of the Arab community along with Greeks demanded an end to the war, occupation of Gaza and freedom to Palestine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE

 

 


Google Honors Odysseas Elytis,the poet of Freedom- Rise Up Now




Theodorakis-Elitis in German? Yup is possible if ALL of us are willing to

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Odysseas Elytis (Greek: Οδυσσέας Ελύτης, born Οδυσσέας Αλεπουδέλλης; November 2, 1911 – March 18, 1996) was regarded as a major exponent of romantic modernism in Greece and the world. In 1979 the Nobel Prize in Literature was bestowed on him.
Contents

1 Biography
1.1 The war
1.2 Programme director for ERT
1.3 Travels
1.4 Death
2 The Poetry of Elytis
3 Works
3.1 Poetry
3.2 Prose, essays
3.3 Translations
4 Reference works
5 Translations of Elytis’ work
6 References
7 External links

Biography

Descendant of the Alepoudelis, an old industrial family from Lesbos, Elytis was born in Heraklion on the island of Crete, on November 2, 1911. His family later moved to Athens, where the poet graduated from high school and later attended courses as an auditor at the Law School at University of Athens.

In 1935 Elytis published his first poem in the journal New Letters (Νέα Γράμματα) at the prompting of such friends as George Seferis. His entry with a distinctively earthy and original form assisted to inaugurate a new era in Greek poetry and its subsequent reform after the Second World War.

From 1969–1972, under the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, Elytis exiled himself to Paris. He was romantically linked to the lyricist and musicologist Mariannina Kriezi, who subsequently produced and hosted the legendary children’s radio broadcast “Here Lilliput Land”. Elytis was intensely private and vehemently solitary in pursuing his ideals of poetic truth and experience.
The war

In 1937 he served his military requirements. As an army cadet, he joined the National Military School in Corfu. During the war he was appointed Second Lieutenant, placed initially at the 1st Army Corps Headquarters, then transferred to the 24th Regiment, on the first-line of the battlefields. Elytis was sporadically publishing poetry and essays after his initial foray into the literary world.

He was a member of the Association of Greek Art Critics, AICA-Hellas, International Association of Art Critics.[1]
Programme director for ERT

He was twice Programme Director of the Greek National Radio Foundation (1945–46 and 1953–54), Member of the Greek National Theatre’s Administrative Council, President of the Administrative Council of the Greek Radio and Television as well as Member of the Consultative Committee of the Greek National Tourist’s Organisation on the Athens Festival. In 1960 he was awarded the First State Poetry Prize, in 1965 the Order of the Phoenix and in 1975 he was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa in the Faculty of Philosophy at Thessaloniki University and received the Honorary Citizenship of the Town of Mytilene.
Travels

During the years 1948–1952 and 1969–1972 he settled in Paris. There, he audited philology and literature seminars at the Sorbonne and was well received by the pioneers of the world’s avant-garde (Reverdy, Breton, Tzara, Ungaretti, Matisse, Picasso, Francoise Gilot, Chagall, Giacometti) as Tériade’s most respected friend. Teriade was simultaneously in Paris publishing works with all the renowned artists and philosophers (Kostas Axelos, Jean Paul Sartre, Francoise Gilot, René Daumal) of the time. Elytis and Teriade had formed a strong friendship that solidified in 1939 with the publication of Elytis first book of poetry entitled “Orientations”. Both Elytis and Teriade hailed from Lesbos and had a mutual love of the Greek painter Theophilos. Starting from Paris he travelled and subsequently visited Switzerland, England, Italy and Spain. In 1948 he was the representative of Greece at the International Meetings of Geneva, in 1949 at the Founding Congress of the International Art Critics Union in Paris and in 1962 at the Incontro Romano della Cultura in Rome.

In 1961, upon an invitation of the State Department, he traveled through the U.S.A.; and —upon similar invitations— through the Soviet Union in 1963 and Bulgaria in 1965.
Death

Odysseas Elytis had been completing plans to travel overseas when he died in Athens on 18 March 1996, at the age of 84. He was survived by his niece Myrsene and his older brother Evangelos, who received a writ of condolence from the mayor of Athens on behalf of the nation at the funeral at the First National Cemetery.
The Poetry of Elytis
Relief depicting Odysseas Elytis in the Venetian loggia of Heraklion, Crete.

Elytis’ poetry has marked, through an active presence of over forty years, a broad spectrum of subject matter and stylistic touch with an emphasis on the expression of that which is rarefied and passionate. He borrowed certain elements from Ancient Greece and Byzantium but devoted himself exclusively to today’s Hellenism, of which he attempted—in a certain way based on psychical and sentimental aspects—to reconstruct a modernist mythology for the institutions. His main endeavour was to rid people’s conscience from unjustifiable remorses and to complement natural elements through ethical powers, to achieve the highest possible transparency in expression and finally, to succeed in approaching the mystery of light, the metaphysics of the sun of which he was a “worshiper” -idolater by his own definition. A parallel manner concerning technique resulted in introducing the inner architecture, which is evident in a great many poems of his; mainly in the phenomenal landmark work It Is Truly Meet (Το Άξιον Εστί). This work due to its setting to music by Mikis Theodorakis as an oratorio, is a revered anthem whose verse is sung by all Greeks for all injustice, resistance and for its sheer beauty and musicality of form. Elytis’ theoretical and philosophical ideas have been expressed in a series of essays under the title The Open Papers (Ανοιχτά Χαρτιά). Besides creating poetry he applied himself to translating poetry and theatre as well as a series of collage pictures. Translations of his poetry have been published as autonomous books, in anthologies or in periodicals in eleven languages.
Works
Poetry

Orientations (Προσανατολισμοί, 1939)
Port and venetian fortress in Heraklion, Crete
Sun The First Together With Variations on A Sunbeam (Ηλιος ο πρώτος, παραλλαγές πάνω σε μιαν αχτίδα, 1943)
An Heroic And Funeral Chant For The Lieutenant Lost In Albania (Άσμα ηρωικό και πένθιμο για τον χαμένο ανθυπολοχαγό της Αλβανίας, 1946)
To Axion Esti—It Is Worthy (Το Άξιον Εστί, 1959)
Six Plus One Remorses For The Sky (Έξη και μια τύψεις για τον ουρανό, 1960)
The Light Tree And The Fourteenth Beauty (Το φωτόδεντρο και η δέκατη τέταρτη ομορφιά, 1972)
The Sovereign Sun (Ο ήλιος ο ηλιάτορας, 1971)
The Trills Of Love (Τα Ρω του Έρωτα, 1973)
The Monogram (Το Μονόγραμμα, 1972)
Step-Poems (Τα Ετεροθαλή, 1974)
Signalbook (Σηματολόγιον, 1977)
Maria Nefeli (Μαρία Νεφέλη, 1978)
Three Poems under a Flag of Convenience (Τρία ποιήματα με σημαία ευκαιρίας 1982)
Diary of an Invisible April (Ημερολόγιο ενός αθέατου Απριλίου, 1984)* Krinagoras (Κριναγόρας, 1987)
The Little Mariner (Ο Μικρός Ναυτίλος, 1988)
The Elegies of Oxopetra (Τα Ελεγεία της Οξώπετρας, 1991)
West of Sadness (Δυτικά της λύπης, 1995)
Eros, Eros, Eros: Selected and Last Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1998) (translated by Olga Broumas)

Prose, essays

The True Face and Lyrical Bravery of Andreas Kalvos (Η Αληθινή φυσιογνωμία και η λυρική τόλμη του Ανδρέα Κάλβου, 1942)
2×7 e (collection of small essays) (2χ7 ε (συλλογή μικρών δοκιμίων))
(Offering) My Cards To Sight (Ανοιχτά χαρτιά (συλλογή κειμένων), 1973)
The Painter Theophilos (Ο ζωγράφος Θεόφιλος, 1973)
The Magic Of Papadiamantis (Η μαγεία του Παπαδιαμάντη, 1975)
Report to Andreas Empeirikos (Αναφορά στον Ανδρέα Εμπειρίκο, 1977)
Things Public and Private (Τα Δημόσια και τα Ιδιωτικά, 1990)
Private Way (Ιδιωτική Οδός, 1990)
Carte Blanche («Εν λευκώ» (συλλογή κειμένων), 1992)
The Garden with the Illusions (Ο κήπος με τις αυταπάτες, 1995)
Open Papers: Selected Essays, (Copper Canyon Press, 1995) (translated by Olga Broumas and T. Begley)

Translations

Second Writing (Δεύτερη γραφή, 1976)
Sappho (Σαπφώ)
The Apocalypse (by John) (Η αποκάλυψη, 1985)

Reference works

Mario Vitti: Odysseus Elytis. Literature 1935–1971 (Icaros 1977)
Tasos Lignadis: Elytis’ Axion Esti (1972)
Lili Zografos: Elytis – The Sun Drinker (1972); as well as the special issue of the American magazine Books Abroad dedicated to the work of Elytis (Autumn 1975. Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.A.)
Odysseas Elytis: Analogies of Light. Ed. I. Ivask (1981)
A. Decavalles: Maria Nefeli and the Changeful Sameness of Elytis’ Variations on a theme (1982)
E. Keeley: Elytis and the Greek Tradition (1983)
Ph. Sherrard: ‘Odysseus Elytis and the Discovery of Greece’, in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 1(2), 1983
K. Malkoff: ‘Eliot and Elytis: Poet of Time, Poet of Space’, in Comparative Literature, 36(3), 1984
A. Decavalles: ‘Odysseus Elytis in the 1980s’, in World Literature Today, 62(l), 1988

Translations of Elytis’ work

Poesie. Procedute dal Canto eroico e funebre per il sottotenente caduto in Albania. Trad. Mario Vitti (Roma. Il Presente. 1952)
21 Poesie. Trad. Vicenzo Rotolo (Palermo. Istituto Siciliano di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici. 1968)
Poèmes. Trad. Robert Levesque (1945)
Six plus un remords pourle ciel. Trad. F. B. Mache (Fata Morgana. Montpellier 1977)
Korper des Sommers. Übers. Barbara Schlörb (St. Gallen 1960)
Sieben nächtliche Siebenzeiler. Übers. Günter Dietz (Darmstadt 1966)
To Axion Esti – Gepriesen sei. Übers. Günter Dietz (Hamburg 1969)
The Axion Esti. Tr. E. Keeley and G. Savidis (Pittsburgh 1974 – Greek & English)(repr. London: Anvil Press, 1980 – English only)
The Sovereign Sun: selected poems. Tr. K. Friar (1974; repr. 1990)
Selected poems. Ed. E. Keeley and Ph. Sherrard (1981; repr. 1982, 1991)
Maria Nephele, tr. A. Anagnostopoulos (1981)
What I love: selected poems, tr. O. Broumas (1986) [Greek & English texts]

Early years

Mikis Theodorakis was born on the Greek island of Chios and spent his childhood years in different provincial Greek cities such as Mytilene, Cephallonia, Patras, Pyrgos and Tripoli. His father, a lawyer and a civil servant was from Galata (Crete) and his mother was from an ethnically Greek family in Çeşme (in what is today Turkey).

Theodorakis’s fascination with music began in early childhood; he taught himself to write his first songs without access to musical instruments. In Patras[17] and Pyrgos[18] he took his first music lessons, and in Tripoli, Peloponnese,[19] he gave his first concert at the age of seventeen.

He went to Athens in 1943, and became a member of a Reserve Unit of ELAS.[20] During the Greek Civil War, he was arrested, sent into exile on the island of Icaria[21] and then deported to the island of Makronisos, where he was tortured and twice buried alive.[22]

During the periods when he was not obliged to hide, not exiled or jailed, he studied from 1943 to 1950 at the Athens Conservatoire under Filoktitis Economidis,.[23] In 1950, he finished his studies and took his last two exams “with flying colours”.[24] He went to Crete, where he became the “head of the Chania Music School” and founded his first orchestra.[25] At this time he ended what he has called the first period of his musical writing.
Studies in Paris

In 1954 he travelled with his young wife Myrto Altinoglou to Paris where he entered the Conservatory and studied musical analysis under Olivier Messiaen[26] and conducting under Eugene Bigot.[27] His time in Paris, 1954–1959, was his second period of musical writing and a time of intense artistic creation.

His symphonic works: a Piano concerto, his first suite, his first symphony, and his scores for the ballet: Greek Carnival, Le Feu aux Poudres, Les Amants de Teruel, received international acclaim. In 1957, he won the Gold Medal in the Moscow Music Festival; President of the Jury was Dmitri Shostakovitch. In 1959, after the successful performances of Theodorakis’s ballet Antigone at Covent Garden in London, the French composer Darius Milhaud proposed him for the American Copley Music Prize – an award of the “William and Noma Copley Foundation”,[28] which later changed its name to “Cassandra Foundation” – as the “Best European Composer of the Year”. His first international scores for the film Ill Met by Moonlight and Luna de Miel, directors: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, were also very successful: The Honeymoon title song became part of the repertoire of The Beatles.
Notable works up to 1960

Chamber Music: Four String Quartets; Trio four piano, violin, cello; Little Suite for piano; Sonatina for piano; Sonatinas No.1 and No.2 for violin and piano;
Symphonic music: Assi-Gonia (symphonic movement; Piano Concerto “Helicon”; Symphony No.1 (Proti Simfonia); Suites n° 1, 2 et 3 for orchestre; La Vie et la Mort / Live and Death (for voice and strings); Œdipus Tyrannos (for strings; later for quartet and symphony orchestra); Piano Concerto;
Ballets: Greek Carnival; Le Feu aux Poudres; Les Amants de Teruel; Antigone;
Filmscores: The Barefoot Battalion (Greg Tallas); Ill Met by Moonlight and Honeymoon (Powell and Pressburger); Faces in the Dark (David Eady).

Back to Greek roots
Mikis Theodorakis shortly after his return to Greece, 1961.

In 1960, Theodorakis returned to Greece and his roots in genuine Greek music: With his song cycle Epitaphios he started the third period of his composing and contributed to a cultural revolution in his country.[29] His most significant and influential works are based Greek and world poetry – Epiphania (Giorgos Seferis), Little Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Axion Esti (Odysseas Elytis), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), and Romancero Gitano (Federico García Lorca) – he attempted to give back to Greek music a dignity which in his perception it had lost. He developed his concept of “metasymphonic music” (symphonic compositions that go beyond the “classical” status and mix symphonic elements with popular songs, Western symphonic orchestra and Greek popular instruments).

He founded the Little Orchestra of Athens and the Musical Society of Piraeus, gave many, many concerts all around Greece and abroad… and he naturally became involved in the politics of his home country. After the assassination of Gregoris Lambrakis in May 1963 he founded the Lambrakis Democratic Youth (“Lambrakidès”) and was elected its president.[30] Under Theodorakis’s impetus, it started a vast cultural renaissance movement and became the greatest political organisation in Greece with more than 50.000 members.[31] Following the 1964 elections, Theodorakis became a member of the Greek Parliament, associated with the left-wing party EDA. Because of his political ideas, the composer was black-listed by the cultural establishment; at the time of his biggest artistic glory, a large number of his songs were censored-before-studio or were not allowed on the radio stations.[32]

During 1964, he wrote the music for the Michael Cacoyiannis film Zorba the Greek, whose main theme, since then, exists as a trademark for Greece. It is also known as ‘Syrtaki dance’; inspired from old Cretan traditional dances.
Main works of this period

Song cycles: Epitaphios (Yannis Ritsos); Archipelagos (Songs of the Islands), Politia A & B (Songs of the City), Epiphania (Giorgos Seferis, Nobel Prize 1963), Mikres Kyklades (Odysseas Elytis), Chrysoprasino Fyllo (Golden-green leaf), Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis), Romiossini (Yannis Ritsos), Thalassina Feggaria (Moons of the Sea)
Oratorio: To Axion Esti[33] (Odysseas Elytis, Nobel Prize 1979), cf. Theodorakis on Axion Esti[34]
Music for the Stage: The Hostage (Brendan Behan); Ballad of the Dead Brother (Theodorakis); Omorphi Poli (Beautiful City); Maghiki Poli (Magical City); I Gitonia ton Angelon(The Angels’ Quarter, Iakovos Kambanellis)
Film scores: Phaedra (Jules Dassin), The Lovers of Teruel (Raymond Rouleau), Five Miles to Midnight (Anatole Litvak), Electra and Zorba the Greek (Michalis Cacoyannis), To Nisi tis Afroditis (Harilaos Papadopoulos)

During the dictatorship
Photo of Mikis Theodorakis
M. Theodorakis (1971)

On 21 April 1967 a right wing junta (the Regime of the Colonels) took power in a putsch. Theodorakis went underground and founded the “Patriotic Front” (PAM). On 1 June, the Colonels published “Army decree No 13”, which banned playing, and even listening to his music. Theodorakis himself was arrested on 21 August,[35] and jailed for five months. Following his release end of January 1968, he was banished in August to Zatouna with his wife Myrto and their two children, Margarita and Yorgos.[36] Later he was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos.[37] An international solidarity movement, headed by such personalities as Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, and Harry Belafonte demanded to get Theodorakis freed. On request of the French politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, Theodorakis was allowed to go into exile to Paris on 13 April 1970. Theodorakis’s flight left very secretly from an Onassis owned private airport outside Athens. Theodorakis arrived at Le Bourget Airport where he met Costa Gavras, Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin. Theodorakis was immediately hospitalized because he suffered from lung tuberculosis.[38] Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis’s wife and two children joined him a week later in France. They arrived from Greece to France via Italy on a boat.[39]
Main works under the dictatorship

Song cycles: Ta Laïka (The Popular Songs, Manos Elefteriou);[40] O Ilios ke o Chronos (Sun and Time, Theodorakis); Songs for Andreas (Theodorakis); Arcadies I-X; Nichta Thanatou (Nights of Death, Manos Elefteriou);
Oratorios: Ephiphania Averoff Giorgos Seferis, State of Siege (Marina = Rena Hadjidakis), March of the Spirit (Angelos Sikelianos), Raven (Giorgos Seferis, after Edgar Allan Poe);
Film score: Z (Costa-Gavras).

Resistance in exile

While in exile, Theodorakis fought during four years for the overthrow of the colonels. He started his world tours and gave thousands of concerts on all continents as part of his struggle for the restoration of democracy in Greece.
Mikis Theodorakis at a concert in Caesarea, Israel, in the 1970s.

He met Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende and promised them to compose his version of Neruda’s Canto General. He was received by Gamal Abdel Nasser and Tito, Yigal Allon and Yasser Arafat, while François Mitterrand,[41] Olof Palme and Willy Brandt became his friends. For millions of people, Theodorakis was the symbol of resistance against the Greek dictatorship.[42]
Main works written in exile

1. Song cycles: 18 lianotragouda tis pikris patridas (18 Short Songs of the Bitter Land, Yiannis Ritsos), Ballades (Manolis Anagnostakis), Tis exorias (Songs of the Exile)
2. Oratorio: Canto General (Pablo Neruda)
3. Film scores: The Trojan Women (M. Cacoyannis); State of Siege (Costa-Gavras); Serpico (Sidney Lumet)
Return to Greece
Theodorakis on a visit in East Germany, May 1989.

After the fall of the Colonels, Mikis Theodorakis returned to Greece on 24 July 1974 to continue his work and his concert tours, both in Greece and abroad.[43] At the same time he participated in public affairs. In 1978, through his article For a United Left Wing, he had “stirred up the Greek political life. His proposal for the unification of the three parties of the former United Left – which had grown out of the National Liberation Front (N.L.F.) – had been accepted by the Greek Communist Party which later proposed him as the candidate for mayor of Athens during the 1978 elections.” (Andreas Brandes)[44] He was later elected several times to the Greek Parliament (1981–1986 and 1989–1993) and for two years, from 1990 to 1992, he was a minister in the government of Constantine Mitsotakis. After his resignation as a member of Greek parliament, he was appointed General Musical Director of the Choir and the two Orchestras of the Hellenic State Radio (ERT),[disambiguation needed] which he reorganised and with which he undertook successful concert tours abroad.[45]

He is committed to heightening international awareness of human rights, of environmental issues, and of the need for peace and for this reason he initiated, together with the Turkish author, musician, singer, and filmmaker Zülfü Livaneli,[46] the Greek–Turkish Friendship Society.[47]

From 1981, Theodorakis had started the fourth period of his musical writing, during which he returned to the symphonic music, while still going on to compose song-cycles. His most significant works written in these years are his Second, Third, Fourth and Seventh Symphony, most of them being first performed in the former German Democratic Republic between 1982 and 1989. It was during this period that he received the Lenin Peace Prize. He composed his first opera Kostas Kariotakis (The Metamorphoses of Dionysus) and the ballet Zorba the Greek, premièred in the Arena of Verona during the Festival Verona 1988. During this period, he also wrote the five volumes of his autobiography: The Ways of the Archangel (Οι δρόμοι του αρχάγγελου).

In 1989, he started the fifth period, the last, of his musical writing: He composed three operas (lyric tragedies) Medea, first performed in Bilbao (1 October 1991), Elektra, first performed in Luxembourg (2 May 1995) and Antigone, first performed in Athens’ Megaron Moussikis (7 October 1999). This trilogy was complemented by his last opera Lysistrata, first performed in Athens (14 April 2002): a call for peace… With his operas, and with his song cycles from 1974 to 2006, Theodorakis ushered in the period of his Lyrical Life.

For a period of 10 years, Alexia Vassiliou teamed up with Mikis Theodorakis and his Popular Orchestra. During that time, and as a tribute to Theodorakis’s body of work, Vassiliou recorded a double album showcasing some of the composer’s most consummate musical creations, and in 1998, Sony BMG released the album entitled Alexia–Mikis Theodorakis.

Theodorakis is Doctor honoris causa of several universities, including Montreal, Thessaloniki, and Crete, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2000.
Theodorakis holding hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou

Now he lives in retirement, reading, writing, publishing arrangements of his scores, texts about culture and politics. On occasions he still takes position: in 1999, opposing NATO’s Kosovo war and in 2003 against the Iraq War. In 2005, he was awarded the Sorano Friendship and Peace Award, the Russian International St.-Andrew-the-First-Called Prize, the insignia of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of Luxembourg, and the IMC UNESCO International Music Prize, while already in 2002 he was honoured in Bonn with the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Prize for film music at the International Film Music Biennial in Bonn[48] (cf also: Homepage of the Art and Exhibition Hall Bonn).[49] In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the distribution of the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent.[50]

A final set of songs entitled: Odysseia was composed by utilizing poetry written by Costas Kartelias for lyrics. Created in 2007, Theodorakis achieved the distinction of producing one of the largest works by any composer of any time.[51]
Main works after 1974

Song cycles: Ta Lyrika; Dionysos; Phaedra; Beatrice in Zero Street; Radar; Chairetismoi (Greetings); Mia Thalassa (A Sea Full of Music); Os archaios Anemos (Like an Ancient Wind); Lyrikotera (The More-Than-Lyric Songs); Lyrikotata (The Most Lyric Songs); Erimia (Solitude); Odysseia;
Music for the Stage: Orestia (dir.: Spyros Evangelatos); Antigone (dir.: Minos Volanakis); Medea (dir.: Spyros Evangelatos)
Film scores: Iphigenia (M. Cacoyannis), The Man with the Carnation (Nikos Tzimas)
Oratorios: Liturgia 2; Missa Greca (Thia Liturgia); Requiem;
Symphonic music and cantatas: Symphonies no 2, 3, 4, 7; According to the Sadducees; Canto Olympico; Guitar Rhapsody; Cello Rhapsody; Trumpet Rhapsody;
Operas: “The Metamorphosis of the Dionysus” (Kostas Karyotakis); Medea; Elektra; Antigone; Lysistrata.

Political views

Theodorakis has spoken out against the Iraq and Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank has condemned Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.”[52]
2010-2011: Calling for revolution

In December 1, 2010, Mikis Theodorakis founded “Spitha: People’s Independent Movement”, a non-political movement which calls people to gather and express their political ideas. The main goal of “Spitha” is to help Greece stay clear off its economic crisis.[53] On May 31, Mikis Theodorakis gave a speech attended by appropximately 10,000 Greeks in the center of Athens, criticising the Greek government for the loan debt it has taken from the International Monetary Fund.[54] It was also the first time in many decades that he called for revolution.[cit

 


Are Neo-Nazis Aiding Greek Cops With “DIY Law Enforcement”?

The Guardian :

Vanna Mendaleni is a middle aged Greek woman who until now has not had vehement feelings about the crisis that has engulfed her country. But that changed when the softly spoken undertaker, closing her family-run funeral parlour, joined thousands of protesters on Thursday in a mass outpouring of fury over austerity policies that have plunged ever growing numbers of Greeks into poverty and fear.

“After three years of non-stop taxes and wage cuts it’s got to the point where nothing has been left standing,” she said drawing on a cigarette. “It’s so bad families can no longer afford to even bury their dead. Bodies lie unclaimed at public hospitals so that the local municipality can bury them.”

As Greece was brought to a grinding halt by its second general strike in less than a month, Mendaleni wanted to send a message to the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, and other EU leaders meeting in Brussels.

“We once had a life that was dignified. Now the country has gone back 50 years and these politicians have to be made aware that enough is enough.”

Greek demonstrations are not now marked by the vehemence or violence of the mass protests that occurred when Europe‘s debt drama erupted in Athens, forcing the then socialist government to announce pay and pension cuts, tax increases and benefit losses that few had anticipated. Anger and bewilderment have been replaced by disappointment and despair.

But the quiet fortitude that has been on display could soon run out in the country on the frontline of the continent’s worst crisis since the second world war. For on Thursday demonstrators were sure of one thing: if pushed too far they may be pushed over the edge.[Read the rest of the article]

Are Neo-Nazis Aiding Greek Cops With “DIY Law Enforcement”?

infowars

Zero Hedge
October 18, 2012

Forget the day-to-day images of riots and protests, the truth on the ground in Greece is far harsher. Just as we warned numerous times, social unrest is escalating rapidly and the extremists are gaining strength and power. One of Greece’s neo-nazi Golden Dawn party MPs says “there is already civil war, and Greek society is ready – even though no-one likes this – to have a fight.” The BBC’s Paul Mason reports on recent demonstrations surrounding the performance of a controversial play as tensions escalated and the Golden Dawn party “de-arresting” demonstrators – pulling them from police detention, as the police do nothing. The somewhat shocking clip below points out the incredible reality that is occurring on the streets of Greece – even as EU leaders claim Greece was not a topic at the EU Summit. The people ask “if we are in a democracy or a dictatorship?” and Golden Dawn (which has 18 seats in parliament) proclaims “On the one side there will be nationalists like us, and Greeks who want our country to be as it used to be; and on the other side illegal immigrants, anarchists and all those who have destroyed Athens several times.” As Mason concludes: the social and political outcome of the IMF and EU austerity program, and of the implosion of mainstream politics in Greece, looks like a catastrophe for democracy.

Here is the clip of the theatre riot and Golden Dawn abuse “Wrap It Up You Little Faggots. You Albanian Assholes”

Via The BBC: Alarm at Greek police ‘collusion’ with far-right Golden Dawn

The full ‘must watch’ BBC video is not embeddable, but worth viewing, so click image for link:

Are Greek police colluding with far-right Golden Dawn?

Greece’s far-right party, Golden Dawn, won 18 parliamentary seats in the June election with a campaign openly hostile to illegal immigrants and there are now allegations that some Greek police are supporting the party.

“There is already civil war,” says Ilias Panagiotaros. If so, the shop he owns is set to do a roaring trade.

“Greek society is ready – even though no-one likes this – to have a fight: a new type of civil war,” he says.

“On the one side there will be nationalists like us, and Greeks who want our country to be as it used to be, and on the other side illegal immigrants, anarchists and all those who have destroyed Athens several times,” he adds.

You hear comments like this a lot in Greece now but Ilias Panagiotaros is not some figure on the fringes: he is a member of the Greek parliament, one of 18 MPs elected for the far-right Golden Dawn in June’s general election.

Theatre attack

…Last week he led a demonstration that closed down a performance of the Terence McNally play, Corpus Christi.

“Wrap it up you little faggots. Yes, just keep staring at me you little hooker. Your time is up. “You Albanian assholes,” shouts Mr Panagiotaros in the YouTube clip.

Footage filmed inside the theatre, as rocks showered into its open-air auditorium, shows the manager making frantic calls to the chief of police, demanding protection from a mob that had begun to beat up journalists outside.

Other footage shows Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas “de-arrest” a demonstrator, pulling him from a police detention coach, as the police do nothing.

“People went home with broken bones. Every day they phone me now, they phone the theatre, saying: your days are numbered.”

They phoned my mother, Golden Dawn. They said we will deliver your son’s body to you in a box of little pieces.

“I want to be told if we are in a democracy or a dictatorship?”

I ask Mr Panagiotaros: how can it be right for a party in parliament to have a uniformed militia that takes on, violently, the role of law enforcement, checking papers and overturning market stalls? He explains:

“With one incident, which was on camera, the problem was solved – in every open market all over Greece illegal immigrants disappeared.

“There was some pushing and some fighting – nothing extraordinary, nothing special.

“Now, only with one phone call saying Golden Dawn is going to pass by, the police is going there. That means the brand name of Golden Dawn is very effective.”

He confirms the party’s strategy is to force police action against migrants and to claim their right to make citizens’ arrests against those they suspect of criminality.

“It’s like fashion – our dress code is now extremely popular and more people want to follow it. The brand name is synonymous with order, law and order and efficiency.”

And if it projects fear among perfectly legal migrants? I ask.

“There are no legal migrants in Greece,” says Mr Panagiotaros “not even one.”

Now Golden Dawn is suddenly everywhere. Its eight local offices at election time have become 60 nationwide. It is polling consistently as the third most popular party at 12%.

“Rest assured we stand by the citizens and we try to prevent such situations.

And the issue driving support for Golden Dawn is clear: illegal migration.

“Golden Dawn is at war with the political system and those who represent it, with the domestic and international bankers, we are at war with these invaders – immigrants.

“If the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Parliament, the Greek parliament don’t intervene in this situation I am afraid to think what’s going to happen. Europe must do something if they don’t want a revival of the Third Reich again.”

Close up, in other words, the social and political outcome of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and EU (European Union) austerity programme, and of the implosion of mainstream politics in Greece, looks like a catastrophe for democracy.


Greek society is now stuck between neo-Nazism, racism and austerity

Disclaimer regarding the video: This IS NOT WHAT I BELIEVE. This is what Greece has turned into,a Nest of hating fascists. My opinion is known and IS NOT in favour of any kind of extremes.If you are to leave a comment,please be kind enough to follow the WP rules and do not leave any threats /hate messages. Thank you

Fascism is making a mainstream comeback. That is fascism in the sense of a nationalist and nativist movement, to be distinguished from totalitarianism, which is an internationalist and imperialist movement. The scene for the return of fascism is Greece. In the birthplace of democracy, the failure of the European Union has combined with the utter impotency of mainstream Greek politicians to  offer an opening for Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant party that is openly and violently taking the law into its own hands. The New York Times writes:

The video, which went viral in Greece last month, shows about 40 burly men, led by Giorgos Germenis, a lawmaker with the right-wing Golden Dawn party, marching through a night market in the town of Rafina demanding that dark-skinned merchants show permits.

The video is harrowing. It is racist and rightly condemned by legitimate parties. But no one, it seems, is willing to do more than to condemn Golden Dawn. Article after article speaks of the close relationship between Golden Dawn and the Greek police. They appear to act with impunity.

The real danger is only in part the destruction of shops and stands owned by brown people who don’t have documentation; it is the shock, passivity, and even the support of the people and the police. Greek society is, as The Guardian reports, making media darlings of Golden Dawn. Multiple reports suggest that Golden Dawn has support of more than 20% of the Greek people.

The problems Greece faces are extreme. Overly indebted, the Greeks have not been able to choose a coherent response. They have refused to leave the Euro or nationalize their banks and their debt. But nor have they willingly embraced the kind of severe austerity that would allow them to return to good economic standing. The sad result is enforced and partial austerity at the barrel of an economic pistol. It is a painful and humiliating submission to international bureaucrats.

At the same time, the broken immigration politics of the European Union puts an impossible burden on Greece to police its huge and porous borders. Since illegal immigrants can travel freely in the EU once inside Greece, it has become an easy port of entry to the whole of the EU. There are now, according to the NY Times, more than 1.5 Million immigrants in a country of 11 million people. Other sources put the number lower at 850,000. Whichever is correct, the politics of immigration are underwriting Golden Dawn’s popular vigilantism.

 

The combination of a broken political system, economic austerity, and growing illegal immigration is, as the video and the increasingly mainstream popularity of Golden Dawn show, a dangerous mix. This is a mass movement that is filling a vacuum of legitimate leadership. It is a sign of what happens when the political system refuses to honestly address the reality of the problems a nation faces; the complete breakdown in legitimacy and the turn to extremism.

Read more about Golden Dawn in the Times article.

ATHENS – As if any more proof was needed that the Nazis of Golden Dawn are really just cowardly bullies who do their fighting in packs like mad dogs when they can pounce on one victim without fear of being hit back, came the sad spectacle of its spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris  – who was elected to the Parliament after the stalemated May 6 elections before the body quickly dissolved – attacking a top Communist lawmaker, Liana Kanelli, on live television. How he got to be the spokesman is another question because he speaks only Neanderthal.

Kasidiaris threw water at Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Rena Dourou as a result of  becoming  infuriated after she had referred to his pending court case on the Klimera Ellada TV show. The 32-year-old Golden Dawn MP is also facing a charge of assisting an attack and robbery against a postgraduate student in 2007. His trial has been adjourned until June 11th, six days before the critical national elections.

Not content with assaulting one woman, he jumped up and slapped around Kanelli as she tried to defend herself before the show’s host jumped in to pull off the rabid dog, who ran out to hide but vowed to return – but only with a gang because he couldn’t face one woman alone. After the incident, Kasidiaris was locked in a room at the studio of the private Antenna TV but broke down a door to escape, according to reports, running away into the dark where his subhumans live, a craven chicken-heart who put his tail between his legs and ran away. A prosecutor issued an arrest warrant and if police catch up with him, they can tack on some new charges. If there’s any justice he should be put into the women’s jail so they can have a go at him, although it might take him time to take off his dress.

Kanelli is an eloquent intellectual who can infuriate opponents as she disarms them with wit and argument even with the little ammunition she gets from her sadly outdated ideology, and he is no match for her with words because she’d be in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent, a thug charged with a felony. Maybe a good start for Greece would be to pass a law barring felons from being elected as members of Parliament. You could extend that to idiots too, but that would empty most of the 300 seats in the body.

If any good comes out of this, it’s that now that Golden Dawn keeps being exposed as a lunatic fringe, beating up immigrants and having no philosophy, and as its leader Nikos Michaloliakos denied the Holocaust, that it won’t get enough votes in the critical June 17 elections to be elected to Parliament. In the May 6 balloting, on the back of opposing the austerity measures that have crippled workers, pensioners and the poor, and a platform of tossing immigrants out of the country and beating up those still around, Golden Dawn got 6.2 percent of the vote and 21 seats. Since then, as it has continued to show it’s just a group of whack jobs supported by empty-headed twits, it has fallen to 4.2 percent, and hopefully the live TV assault will push it under the 3 percent threshold needed to get into Parliament and back under the rocks from which these lizards came after evolving from primordial ooze. In the 2009 elections, it got only 0.29 percent of the vote, but even that was too much.

While the other political parties who don’t want to sit next to Golden Dawn types in the Parliament properly responded with condemnation, sadly – if predictably – the bully was not universally scored, with many people jumping onto blogs and Greek news sites to cheer on the assault, and you know the types: unemployed, live-in boyfriends sponging off the girlfriends they beat up because if they had to face a man they’d need to order some Depends diapers. Golden Dawn types prefer to beat up women and immigrants, but only if they outnumber their victims by 30-1 or so, the odds they prefer.

Michaloliakos, who must not have been watching TV or was too busy cleaning the scales on his body or looking for rats to eat, claimed Kanelli attacked Kasidiaris first and that the incident had been blown out of proportion. He said he would no longer allow any of his members to talk to the press in retaliation, which should bring a big sigh of relief to any reporter who no longer would have to take a shower after getting too close to them. Speaking at a pre-election rally in Megara, west of Athens, Mihaloliakos said “elections never did this country any good,” forgetting it was an election which got him into the Parliament, but then his types prefer dictatorships anyway.

But this being Greece, Kasidiaris may not face justice and could be elected to Parliament again unless Greeks rise up as they always have against bullies and tyrants and shun Golden Dawn, make its members pariahs and ostracize them. There’s another option: deport them to a country that hates immigrants or seat them next to Manolis Glezos, a real Greek hero who, with his late friend Apostolos Santas, climbed up under the Acropolis in 1941 to pull down the Swastika that Golden Dawn wants to put up again. Glezos knows how to deal with Nazis. Let’s see if the rest of Greece does too.

 

Tens of thousands of Greeks hit by austerity cuts have taken to the streets in Athens as the government pushes for an austerity deal with its lenders.

On Tuesday, inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and European Commission, known as the troika, tried to avoid the protesters demonstrating outside the labor ministry building in the capital, where negotiations between the troika and Athens were being held on the details of a two-year austerity package.

For weeks, Greece has been negotiating over 12 billion euros of cutbacks that its lenders have declined to sign off over concerns that many of the proposed saving cuts are unlikely to materialize.

For the second day, the troika inspectors had to face the angry protesters interrupting them as they entered the ministry building to start negotiations.

Dozens of disabled demonstrators blocked the main entrance of the labor ministry and chanted, "We won't let it pass!" One held a banner saying, "They handed 200 billion to bankers but cut down on medicine, treatment, and benefits for the disabled."

On Monday, Athens unveiled its 2013 draft budget which includes measure that would affect pensions, benefits, and the salaries of civil servants to meet the troika criteria. The austerity budget foresaw a sixth year of recession in 2013. However, the measures did not convince the troika.

"The troika is questioning the effectiveness of the measures related to structural reforms," a government official said.

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

One in every five Greek workers is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

Greek youths have also been badly affected, and more than half of them are unemployed.

The long-drawn-out eurozone debt crisis, which began in Greece in late 2009 and reached Italy, Spain, and France last year, is viewed as a threat not only to Europe but also to many of the world’s other more developed economies.

GJH/AS

The aftermath of June’s fresh elections in Greece saw the formation of a three-party coalition government. The election also saw the neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn” come fifth place in the polls, and gain seats in the national parliament. Alexandros Sakellariou and the the Greek MYPLACE team at Panteion University of Social And Political Sciences discuss neo-Nazi influence, austerity measures and racism following the Greek elections.

Neo-Nazism…

It has been more than two months after the elections of 17th of June and the formation of the three-party coalition government. In the meantime we got some very interesting data derived from the exit polls regarding the neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn” (ChryssiAygi), which received 6.9% of the votes and came fifth in the national elections, surpassing the Democratic Left, which now participates in the government (6.3%) and the Communist Party (4.5%). According to these data, Golden Dawn was voted for more by men (10%) than by women (4%) and this was the highest difference between the two sexes compared to all other parties. In the age category 18-24 Golden Dawn was in the second place with 13% after the Coalition of the Left (SYRIZA) with 37%. In the age category 25-34 SYRIZA was again first with 33% and Golden Dawn second in the same place with the conservatives (New Democracy) with 16%. In the following categories Golden Dawn is in the third or fourth and fifth place.

It is very interesting that in the age category 65+ is in the seventh place with only 2%, which according to our view means that older people who know what Nazism and Fascism did to Greece did not vote for them. This perhaps is a very important issue which is related to memory (remembering and forgetting), but also points out the lack of historical knowledge on the part of the young people. The educational background of the Golden Dawn’s voters is 9% middle, 3% low and 6% higher education; the majority of them are unemployed (12%), 11% are working in the private sector and 11% are self-employed and employers, 7% are university students, 6% are working in the public sector, 3% are pensioners and 3% housekeepers. 8% of them are from semi-urban areas while 7% are from rural and only 6% from urban areas.

When they were asked why they voted for Golden Dawn, 29% of them spontaneously responded because of indignation and in order to punish the politicians, 27% because of the immigration problem and the control of the borders, 14% because they agree with the party’s political program and declaration and 13% for patriotic and national reasons.

However, apart from these numbers Golden Dawn members have been very active since their parliamentary entrance . They are using the financial support they receive as a parliamentary party in order to give food to those people who need it, provided that they are Greek! (See the poster below from their webpage):

Furthermore, they created a blood bank in many Greek cities, in order to collect blood, but again only for Greek people (See the poster below).

We should add that in the course of our internet ethnography about Golden Dawn we have  seen that their official webpage is very active with many posts and announcements being
uploaded on a daily basis. In addition, their youth’s webpage is also very rich with texts, photos and videos, but what is quite surprising is their women’s blog, which is very strenuous and seem to show that many young women are taking part in the organization’s activities (See the picture below from the blog).

…Racism…

The most alarming ‘activity’, though, is the attacks against the immigrants. Even though no one has been arrested, the incidents have been augmented during the last weeks in Athens and other cities. In August the 10th around ten o’clock at night, during the Ramadan month, about five motorcycles attacked a Muslim prayer house in Piraeus throwing smoke bombs. Fortunately enough the people inside managed to get out without any injuries. In another similar attack on Saturday the 11th of August, another group of motorcycles attacked again a prayer house. Some of them entered the place and vandalized it writing on the walls: “Fuck the Koran”, “Fuck Allah”, “Mohamed was Gay”, “Hellas” and they also pictured Christian crosses (See the picture below).

Finally, there are many reports regarding racist attacks against immigrants from people with black t-shirts (like those worn by the Golden Dawn members). In one of these attacks a young Iraqi was killed in the center of Athens on August the 12th, at around 04.30 in the morning by a group of people who before him attacked two other immigrants, one from Romania and one from Morocco. Their tactic is to get close to their victims and be friendly asking them where they come from and then they attack them. Anti-racist organizations report that many incidents of this kind occur on a weekly basis, but the problem is that the police were unable until now to find the suspects, not even in one case. Without any intention of implying a close relationship between the police and the neo-Nazi party, even though there have been many accusations in the last years, it is worth mentioning that during the last elections in the special electoral departments for policemen Golden Dawn received from 17 to 23%, more than three times up from the party’s national percentage. One last alarming event was that Golden Dawn is organizing Security Battalions in Peloponnese (like those during the Civil War) against the immigrants. The local representative made a call to all the inhabitants from 15 to 70 years old to be alarmed and participate in these forces. He also attacked immigrants, accusing them of being responsible for the delinquency in the region, arguing that “the illegal immigrant intruders are responsible for the high rates of criminality in the area” and also added that “the gypsies are a delinquency plague for the Greeks”.

…Austerity

Within this social and political climate new austerity measures of more than 11.5 billion Euros are ready to be applied for the years to come (2013-2014). According to very recent information, due to the five year recession, which is going to be continued, more billions are necessary in order to achieve the financial goals of the economic program (approx. 13.5 billion). Among other measures new cuts are planned for wages in pubic sector and in pensions. It has to be noted that according to Eurostat Greece is now in the first place of youth unemployment (15-24) surpassing Spain, with 52.8 to 52.7% (April data). However, the Hellenic Statistical Authority published its May 2012 data which showed that youth unemployment was 54.9%. Furthermore, according to the first data from the last census (2011) another issue seems to arise: the decrease in the birth rate. As a consequence, Greece’s population declined by about 300,000 people and this is connected with the economic crisis as there is a decrease of around 15% of births in the maternity homes and also a decrease in the number of weddings. In addition, many immigrants especially from the Balkans and especially from Albania have returned to their homelands. Some estimate that about 100,000 have already left and this is going to be proven in the beginning of the new school period. Finally, many Greeks have decided to immigrate to other countries. In 2010 5,000 immigrated to Germany, and in 2011 this number rose to 9,000 and was about 15,000 this June. The German Statistical Authority stated that immigration from Greece rose by 90% in 2011 and they speak of about 23,800 new immigrants (Newspaper Kathimerini, August 18, 2012).

It is obvious, that because of the austerity summer vacations were a dream for many of the people of Athens. The majority of them visited friends and relatives in their villages and it was the first time that no one could say that Athens was empty during August. I personally stay every August in Athens and this time was more crowded than ever before, and not only by tourists. As a newspaper article put it “August is no longer a vacation month” (To Vima, August 12, 2012). Based on the last study of the Consumer’s Institute 69% of the Greeks will not go on vacation this summer and those who managed to go reduced their stay from 2 or 3 weeks to 7 or 10 days the most. Some of them also decided to take their vacation leave and stay in Athens and just go for walks and meet their friends.

Even though the above description is not very optimistic, it gives us the opportunity to conduct our MYPLACE survey and our ethnographies in very interesting times and in a social milieu, which is very fruitful for social research.

This article originally appeared on the Project MYPLACE blog.

Recession and suicide

Posted on | juli 21, 2012 |

Materialistic/hedonistic lifestyle and Suicide
During the Great Depression, the press published dramatic stories of people committing suicide after they had lost their savings, homes, and/or jobs. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently reports that more than 800,000 people kill themselves each year, a rate that has been rising owing to the recent recession. Is there a correlation between economic recessions and increase in suicides? The figures from developed, semi-developed and underdeveloped nations indicate that there is a link. Even in the UK, which is outside the perimeters of official austerity, unlike Ireland, Portugal and Greece, the rate of suicides rose 15% in 2011 in comparison with 2007. It is true that suicide rates in many developed nations have risen sharply in the last half century, although incomes have risen for most of that period, but falling in the past two decades. This is in part because the materialistic/hedonistic culture and lifestyle on which the individual’s psychology is molded cannot absorb the shock of having a lessening of materialistic/hedonistic lifestyle undercut by economic contractions impacting the individual’s life.Therefore, when the nice home, car, and lifestyle are diminished, all things on which the value system is based, the individual cannot cope and sees no point to go on living.

Suicides in Southern Europe
More interesting than northwest Europe, which has a long-standing pattern of higher suicide rates than most of the world, southern Europe (Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy) have seen their suicide rates skyrocket in the past two years. From 1980 to 2000 suicide rates averaged six per 100,000, or about the same as in Mexico and Israel, whereas in the Russian Federation and South Korea rates were almost three times higher. There is a long-standing debate about suicide as an individual matter vs. a social problem, something that is discussed more in Asian and other non-Western societies, but is more likely dismissed in Western nations by media, politicians and social elites that want to blame the individual and not the institutional structure for the conditions providing fertile ground to suicide attempts.

Mental Illness, Alcohol, Substance abuse and Economic hardships
While suicide is often associated with mental illness, abuse of alcohol and substances, suicide rates since the recession of 2008 have risen owing to people losing jobs, homes, income, falling into debt and watching their lives destroyed and identities shattered. Particularly in Italy and Greece, suicide rates have been rampant in 2011 and 2012, with blatant cases of individuals killing themselves because they see no way out of economic hardships. The dignity question, often associated with middle class status is linked to rise in suicides at a time that the economic recession has eroded middle class living standards.

OECD warnings on suicides
OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – has been compiling statistics that indicate a direct a correlation between economic hard times and suicides, especially in countries under formal or informal austerity pressures. As EU economy will continue to struggle in 2012 and 2013, with rising unemployment, falling wages and benefits, the likely scenario is higher rate of suicide attempts across most of EU, along with higher crime rates and social unrest. At the same time, the social fabric is under attack, given that the economic recession is impacting the integrity of the family, as more people need to take anti-depressant medication to cope with external problems that they internalize.

GDP Correlation to Suicide
Studies conducted over long periods suggest that the higher income the lower the suicide rate. Moreover, higher income nations suffer a lower suicide rate during expansionary economic cycles than they do during recessionary cycles. As much in the US as in Japan, suicides rates rise during recessionary cycles, though it is not true that such rates rise across all of Asia during economic hard times, thus indicating that value systems – traditional-religious rooted society does impact the individual’s outlook on suicide.

Suicide: Internalizing an external problem
It is true that in much of the Western World the external problems of economic recessions that lead to job loss, home loss, savings depletion, high debt, divorce, etc. is often internalized, largely because the media, politicians, priests and sages insist that any calamities that befall on the individual are her/his fault and not a structural or institutional problem. Therefore, the sense of guilt, self-hatred, and pain is so intense that to stop the hurt, the individual must kill the self, instead of pointing to the predatory institutional system as the root of the problem.

Capitalist value system and Suicide
In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, the option of suicide is seen as one that the system of the market economy brings to Willy Loman, an option from which he cannot escape because his life, his identity, his family, his success is defined. Has finance capitalism created a new class of Willy Lomans on the verge of depression and contemplating suicide, or is this an exaggeration, considering that no matter the political economy, human beings would always contemplate choosing to end their lives when pressured by unpleasant circumstances? Does the marketing/publicity machine of the free market economy condition peoples’ minds to the degree that they actually believe in the illusion of ‘making it rich some day’, and once that does not come true some become depressed and a few suicidal? To what degree has the credit economy contributed to false hopes about achieving the dream of riches, when in reality such dreams are confined to a tiny percentage of the world’s population? Finally, what is the meaning of life for an individual who grew up in materialistic/hedonistic society in which material success cannot be achieved?

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
URL: http://jonkofas.blogspot.com

Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies

Depression, Suicide

CNBC content made available by kind permission of CNBC.

By Holly Ellyatt, CNBC Assistant News Editor

Europe is approaching a crisis as the region’s debt crisis and austerity measures increase the rates of depression, suicide and psychological problems – just as governments cut healthcare spending by up to 50 percent, according to campaigners, policy makers and health organizations.

A growing number of global and European health bodies are warning that the introduction and intensification of austerity measures has led to a sharp rise in mental health problems with suicide rates, alcohol abuse and requests for anti-depressants increasing as people struggle with the psychological cost of living through a European-wide recession.

“No one should be surprised that factors such as unemployment, debt and relationship breakdowns can cause bouts of mental illness and may push people who are already vulnerable to take their own lives,” Richard Colwill, of the British mental health charity Sane, told CNBC.

“There does appear to be a connection between unemployment rates and suicide for example,” he said, referring to a recent study in the British Medical Journal that stated that more than 1,000 people in the U.K. may have killed themselves because of the impacts of the recession. “This research reflects other work showing similar rises in suicides across Europe.”

According to Josée Van Remoortel, advisor to the European organization Mental Health Europe (MHE), the financial crisis is affecting “all areas of life,” not just economies, and its impact on mental health is creating a “deep chasm in our society.”

“The credit crunch [has] had one unexpected consequence and one that reflects a deep chasm in our society – a sharp rise in mental health problems, largely caused by uncertainty and fear for the future,” he writes in a paper entitled “The Sane Approach.”

A recent survey of general practitioners (family doctors) in Britain by the Insight Research Group seems to support Van Remoortel’s view.

The data showed that out of 300 family doctors surveyed, the majority reported that austerity was damaging their patients’ health. Seventy six percent said their patients were unhealthier due to the economic climate and 77 percent said more patients were seeking treatment for anxiety.

The doctors surveyed relayed an increase in the incidence of alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression and requests for abortions due to economic reasons, anecdotal evidence borne out by statistics for anti-depressant requests in the U.K., which have risen 28 percent from 34 million prescriptions in 2007 to 43.4 million in 2011.

However, just as public health deteriorates, national government throughout Europe are deepening spending cuts and cutting mental healthcare by up to 50 percent.

The consequences of spending cuts could be long-lasting and pervasive throughout the continent, according to Van Remoortel from Mental Health Europe.

“The financial crisis will not last forever,” Van Remoortel said. “But rushed measures taken by national governments to patch their economies will surely have prolonged effects.”

He isn’t alone in calling for Europe’s governments to avoid cutting spending on mental health, particularly as one in four Europeans (215 million people) will experience a mental health disorder during the course of their lives according to MHE.

More worryingly, one study suggests that only 30 to 52 percent of Europeans with mental health problems make contact with a health professional, and as a result the real figure could be much higher.

John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy says Europe could be “sleep-walking into a catastrophe” as budget cuts hit healthcare services.

Speaking at a meeting at the European Economic and Social Committee in June, Dalli said that Europe was heading towards a “humanitarian crisis” and warned of the risks of "neglecting public health in times of austerity."

"The economic crisis should not turn into a health crisis. Financial hardship cannot jeopardize people's health and access to healthcare,” he said.

“Cutting back on healthcare delivery is invariably a false economy, triggering worsening outcomes in the longer term — for people’s health, for health systems, for society and the economy as a whole,” he said.

But with rising debt burdens and austerity programs, this is exactly what countries throughout Europe are doing. In Greece, a country in which a number of high profile “economic suicides'' have been recorded, funding for the mental health service has been cut by up to 50 percent.

In the U.K., 13.8 percent of the total 102 billion pound annual health budget goes on mental health provision. But after a decade of rising investment, the government is looking to cut 6.6 billion pounds from mental health care provision as part of 20 billion pounds of cuts from its<a href="http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/07/investment-mental-health/"> national health service bill.

In a country where 6 million people suffer from mental health problems, a cut of 150 million pounds from the annual mental health budget could cause billions of pounds in adverse economic and human effects according to the National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU).

In a report by the organization, it estimated that the financial cost of mental illness  to the wider economy amounted to 77 billion pounds a year in lost productivity and increased need for social security benefits.

At a time when mental health services are needed the most by society and economy, the government is jeopardizing the public’s welfare, Richard Colwill from the charity Sane told CNBC.

“Our concern is that people will be doubly penalized. At a time when we would reasonably expect there to be an increase in demand for mental health support, in the U.K. we are seeing cuts to services across the board,” Colwill said.

“With stretched services already seeing people fall through the cracks, our fear is that the fault lines can only widen.”

CNBC.com

Americans now stand a greater chance of dying from the effects of austerity than being killed in a car crash. At least that’s what a new report suggests, if you read between the lines. The study, authored by a West Virginia University professor and published in the American Journal of Public Health last week, says that suicide now kills more Americans than car crashes. While the study doesn’t draw a direct connection between the recession and the spike in suicides over the last ten years.

Death By Austerity

More Americans now commit suicide than die in car crashes, making suicide the leading cause of injury deaths, according to a new study.

In addition, over the last 10 years, while the number of deaths from car crashes has declined, deaths from poisoning and falls increased significantly, the researchers report.

“Suicides are terribly undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe,” said study author Ian Rockett, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University.

…For the study, Rockett’s team used data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics to determine the cause of injury deaths from 2000 to 2009.

The leading causes of unintentional deaths were car accidents, poisoning and falls, and for intentional deaths they were suicide and homicide.

Deaths from intentional and unintentional injury were 10 percent higher in 2009 than in 2000, the researchers noted.

And although deaths from car crashes declined 25 percent, deaths from poisoning rose 128 percent, deaths from falls increased 71 percent and deaths from suicides rose 15 percent, according to the study.

Can it be a coincidence that the rise in U.S. suicides occurred simultaneously with America’s biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression -- when millions of Americans found themsleves suddenly facing foreclosure, long-term unemployment, homelessness, and hunger? Possibly, but a significant increase in suicides doesn’t “just happen,” anymore than do economic meldtowns. As with any other socio-cultural trends, there are likely to be one or more factors driving it.

You don’t have to be a college professor to connect the dots. Back in April, I began writing a series of posts about the human costs of austerity in Europe, after the suicide of 77-year-old Green pensioner Dimitris Christoulas made headlines around the world. Christoulas set his suicide in the context of the devastating conesquences of austerity for Greek citizens when he chose to take his in a public square located near Parliament, and left a suicide note directly blaming the government’s austerity measures for the desperation and despair that pushed him to take his own life.

Christloulas’ public suicide, and his posthumous indictment of the Greek government’s austerity measures sparked protests from middle- and working-class Greeks who bear the brunt of Greece’s austerity-shrunken economy, and its 21% unemployment rate (51% for Greeks between the ages of 15 and 140). It also reflected an increase in suicides not just in Greece, but across Europe -- in every country caught in the vice grip of austerity.

Austerity has brought another change to Greece. Prior to 2007, suicides among Greeks under 65 fell sharply. In face, Greece had the lowest rate of suicides. Not surprising since suicide is so deeply stigmatized in Greece that the Greek Orthodox Church rejects the bodies of suicides for burial.

The economic downturn reversed that trend, as suicides increased among people under 65 increased between 2007 and 2009. The increase coincided with a 35% increase in suicides across the EU, with the sharpest increases in Greece, Ireland and Latvia -- three countries in which people live under severe austerity policies. Of the three, Greece leads the pack with the fastest rising suicide rate in the EU -- a 20% increase from 2007 to 2009.

Austerity has added its impact to the that of the economic crisis, to overcome the cultural stigma against suicide. Greece’s suicide rate has increased 40% since 2009. Perhaps what made Dimitris Christoulas different from so many others was that he chose to meet his end, not in some quiet room, but practically on the doorstep of Greece’s government.

As I wrote back in April, America is not Greece. While Americans’ have yet to experience the soul-crushing brand of austerity that has become the “new normal” for Greek citizens.

Since imposition of austerity upon Greece, there has been no shortage of news stories the impact on ordinary Greeks.

The Guardian’s Jon Henley travelled through Greece and recorded his experiences in a searing series of reports he titled “Greece on the Breadline.” Reporting a mixture of fury and solidarity among Greeks, hears from them how austerity has changed their lives. In Athens, a woman who uses her professional experience to coach the unemployed asked, “[W]hat kind of society have we become, that we are kicking homeless pregnant women on to the streets?” He finds the school children of Athens are too hungry to underfed to do P.E. In Thessaloniki, a student postponed lessons to get in line for potatoes. Young people in Athens -- raised with an emphasis on education and a “career mindset” -- spoke of living with their parents again, taking odd jobs just to survive, and declared “We’ve watched our futures go up in smoke.” Across the country, “savage cuts” in Greece’s health services budget have allowed HIV/AIDS and malaria to make a comeback. Newborn testing for up to 40 diseases like cystic fybrosis and sickle cell are “effectively grinding to a halt, ensuring that children will die from diseases that are easily detected and treated.

Is it any wonder that desperation times have led some Greek citizens to commit desperate acts?

Given the impact of recession on the lives of millions of Americans, it’s a wonder we haven’t seen more people taking the kind of desperate measures on the rise in Europe.

We have been surrounded by the results so long that -- except in cases like the Tuscon shooting -- we can easily miss them, because they are becoming our “new normal,” of “anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments.”

Combine all of the above with the easily obtained firearms, plus the 250 million already in private hands, and even with out the addition of inflammatory political rhetoric, it’s almost a miracle that we haven’t seen more violence events like the Tucson shooting -- a miracle, or just an run of incredibly good luck. All it takes is a spark, after all.

Conservatives claim they are not to blame if someone who may be mentally unstable takes their rhetoric “the wrong way,” and acts out violently. But they are accountable, as all politicians should be, for using rhetoric responsibly, and dousing the fire when the ballots are counted and the results finalized -- before the flames grow into a destructive force.

Yet, Americans have shown similar symptoms of austerity-driven desperation.

To anyone paying attention, the link between the recession and body count on Main Street, is as obvious as the wailing sirens, flashing lights, and crime scene markers that may be coming to a neighborhood near you. The stories of foreclosure driven suicide are as old as the once headline-making suicides of Raymond and Deanna Donaca, Carlene Balderama, the attempted suicide of Addie Polk, and the Karthick Rajaram murder-suicide. It’s also a new as stories of foreclosure-driven “suicide-by-cop” in the cases of James Ferrario and Kurt Aho.

As early as 2008, seven in ten Americans were worried about maintaining their standard of living in the midst of economic crisis. As CAF noted at the time, in a report titled “The Stress Test,” seven years of conservative economic policies leading up to the crisis left living standards under stress after the crisis hit. Nearly four years later, foreclosures are a symptom of our untreated economic sickness, and the American Psychological Associations Annual “Stress in America” report, indicates that money, work and the economy are the most frequently cited causes of stress for Americans -- and have been for the past 5 years. It’s also making us mad. The APA reports that “irritability or anger” tops the list of reported symptoms of stress, followed by “feeling nervous or anxious,” and “feeling depressed or sad.”

Foreclosure suicides are just one indicator. “Going postal” has been a frightening reality in American workplaces at least since the term was first coined in 1986, but experts see the recession playing a role in recent incidents of workplace violence like the 2010 shootings in Manchester, Connecticut, and St. Louis, Missouri.

Thus far, Americans have been spared a full-tilt, Euro-style austerity debacle. Instead, we’ve had the next-worst thing; what Paul Krugman called a “de facto austerity”, in the form of “huge spending and employment cuts at the state and local level.” This “de facto” austerity is largely the result of conservatives obstructing of any and all job creation bills -- including proposals to keep teachers, police officers, and fire fighters working -- and demanding cuts that would cost hundreds of thousands of state and local jobs. The result is a loss of some 440,000 federal, state, and local government jobs, accounting for more than half of jobs lost in many states.

At the state level, government accounted for more than half of all job losses for industries that lost jobs since Aug. 2010 in 27 states, and made up 100 percent of losses for industries that lost jobs in Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Government losses also made up more than 50 percent of losses in seven of the 10 states with the largest number of jobs lost, and six of the 10 states with unemployment rates above 9.5 percent.

Of course, the private sector will absorb some of these losses and thankfully we have seen a positive net change in employment for most of these states since Aug. 2010. But make no mistake, the idea that drastic cuts to public budgets would somehow spur private-sector growth is a myth that has undermined recovery efforts both in the United States and in Europe. In reality, cuts to public-sector budgets have a significant negative private-sector impact. As my colleague Ethan Pollack has demonstrated, “for every dollar of budget cuts, over half the jobs and economic activity will be lost in the private sector.” Net change in employment since Aug. 2010 may be positive for most states, but it’s frustrating to think how much better these job numbers might be if we hadn’t spent the past 16 months shooting ourselves in the foot.

How much worse can things get if the result of the election is an economic agenda that slashes public sector spending, bleeds the public sector even more, increases unemployment, hobbles what currently passes for a recovery, and primarily benefits Wall Street and the one percent? Take a look at what’s happening in Europe, and what starting to happen here, and it isn’t hard to guess.

 

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#Greeks protest again on #Syntagma Square

 

As it was originally posted here 

Σημερα θα φανεί αν όντως κατανοούμε τα όσα συμβαινουν για εμάς χωρίς εμάς.Και εάν αντιδρούμε έτσι όπως θα έπρεπε να είχαμε αντιδράσει τουλάχιστον 3 χρόνια πρίν

09/23/2012 #Greeks protest again on #Syntagma Sq.

All governments of Greece have betrayed the people.

The result of Betrayal is the current tragic reality.

Poverty, misery, brutality , suicides.

The above compose the reality we experience.

A first attempt was made ​​last year with the ”indignants”.

Soon, however, the system managed to split the movement of indignant citizens, sowing discord and suspicion.

These days the Greek government is attacking the people, imposing cuts equal to 5% of GDP!

Never in human economic history has happent something like this.

The plan is for the Greeks to work 6 days a week until they are 67 years old with wages that are corresponding to 30% of wages in Germany.

Every day, groups of workers demonstrating in the streets their opposition to the destruction of the country.

On Wednesday, September 26 takes place ​​nationwide general strike.

Tomorrow, Sunday, September 23 we invite everyone to Syntagma Square to protest our anger and our opposition to economic measures, the rapid spread of Nazism and the violation of human dignity.(we will be there so the next day,on Monday ,will post photos and informations)

The only thing left is solidarity.

Head down to the streets and demonstrate your anger and your indignation.

We will claim our decent survival!

23 Σεπτέμβρη όλοι στο Σύνταγμα!

Όλες οι κυβερνήσεις της Ελλάδας πρόδωσαν το λαό.

Αποτέλεσμα της προδοσίας είναι η σημερινή τραγική πραγματικότητα.

Φτώχεια , εξαθλίωση , βαρβαρότητα , αυτοκτονίες.

Τα παραπάνω συνθέτουν την πραγματικότητα που βιώνουμε.

Μια πρώτη προσπάθεια αντίδρασης έγινε πέρυσι με τους αγανακτισμένους .

Γρήγορα όμως το σύστημα κατόρθωσε και διέσπασε το κίνημα των αγανακτισμένων πολιτών , σπέρνοντας διχόνοια και καχυποψία.

Αυτές τις μέρες η κυβέρνηση επιτίθεται στο λαό , επιβάλλοντας περικοπές ίσες με το 5% του ΑΕΠ!

Ποτέ στην ανθρώπινη οικονομική ιστορία δεν έχει συμβεί κάτι τέτοιο.

Το σχέδιο είναι οι Έλληνες να δουλεύουν 6 μέρες την εβδομάδα , μέχρι τα 67 τους χρόνια και με αμοιβές στο που αντιστοιχούν στο 30% των μισθών της Γερμανίας.

Καθημερινά ομάδες εργαζομένων διαδηλώνουν στους δρόμους την αντίθεσή τους στην καταστροφή της χώρας.

Την Τετάρτη 26 Σεπτέμβρη πραγματοποιείται πανεργατική – πανελλαδική απεργία.

Αύριο Κυριακή 23 Σεπτέμβρη σας καλούμε όλους στο Σύνταγμα για να διαδηλώσουμε την οργή μας και την αντίθεσή μας στα οικονομικά μέτρα , στην ραγδαία εξάπλωση του ναζισμού και στην καταπάτηση της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειάς μας.

Δεν έχουμε να ελπίζουμε τίποτα.

Το μόνο που μας έμεινε είναι η αλληλεγγύη μεταξύ μας.

Κατεβείτε στους δρόμους και διαδηλώστε την οργή και την αγανάκτησή σας .

Θα διεκδικήσουμε την αξιοπρεπή επιβίωσή μας!